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Re: Terkunan: rules for deriving nouns, verbs, adjectives

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Date:Friday, November 2, 2007, 19:16
On 11/2/07, Eugene Oh <un.doing@...> wrote:
> 2007/10/31, Dirk Elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>: > > It is not true that sound changes do not take morphological boundaries > > into account. Consider the following examples from a non-standard > > variety of English: > > > [snip examples] > > > > Here the final clusters have *not* been simplified. The difference > > between the two sets of examples is the presence of a morpheme > > boundary between the consonants of the cluster in the second set; > > there is no such morpheme boundary in the clusters of the first set of > > examples (with the possible exception of 'told', which the past > > tense/past participle of 'tell'.) > > > > So it seems that morphological information is crucial to understanding > > this change, and your statement that "sound changes don't care the > > least of the morphological structure > > of the word" is not true, or is at best overstated. > > > > Dirk > > > > It might have been that this variety retained the schwa in the > past-tense ending long enough for the cluster simplification not to > have affected it.
The deletion of schwa in inflectional endings such as the past tense and past participle was pretty much complete by 1600, though poets continued to take advantage of the possibility of its pronunciation for metrical purposes into the 18th century. The examples come from AAVE, which wasn't established in North America until well into the 18th century, so the absence of schwa in these suffixes was a characteristic of this variety from its inception. Also I observe that the second set of words involves
> historical geminates which could have resulted in a different > simplification: that of [rolld] > [rold] vs. [told] > [tol], for > example. It isn't a perfect example.
The examples are fine. There is no geminate in 'rolled'; the verb was borrowed from Old French at a time when there had already ceased to be a singleton/geminate distinction in English. The geminate spelling in the second group of examples has more to do with the pronunciation of the vowel as short rather than long.
> Eugene